Genealogy of the Rawsthorne, Collits, Lees, Morris, Field, Straney and Colbran families
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Male 1817 - 1899  (82 years)

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  • Name James RUTLEDGE 
    Born 24 May 1817  Drumkeeran, Leitrim, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Photos? Grave (DCF2109) 
    Died 29 Sep 1899  Marrickville, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried Rookwood, New South Wales, Australia, Old Wesleyan Section 2C Perimeter, Grave 193/4 Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Arrived free on the 'Lord Weston' on 3/10/1840

      Nearly 100 Years Ago (by the Rev. F.R.Swynny) (As printed in the Field Family Newsletter Edition 2)

      Settlement on the lower Nepean, from the vicinity of Richmond down the river to Penrith, commenced before the days of Governor King. All the lands in the colony became open to settlement in 1831 so that by the forties settlement in this locality must have been well established. In the centre of the area of fertile river flats near the Penrith end was established in the early days of Governor Macquarie the township of Castlereagh, one of the group of towns contemporary with each other, namely, Windsor, Richmond, Wilberforce and Liverpool.

      To James Rutledge, who arrived from Ireland about the year 1840 to be the schoolmaster at Castlereagh, we are indebted for some interesting observations regarding this district. In a paper written by him in 1860, treasured in the archives of the Methodist Historical Society, James Rutledge tells of his first impressions of the lower Nepean district in the year 1840, and his observations will be of interest to readers interested in matters historical. Especially does the subject commend itself to
      the Methodist people who are taking a keen interest in the history of their church in NSW as is evidenced by a membership of 150 at the end of the first year of the existence of the Methodist Historical society. The reason for their particular interest in this district is that in it the first Methodist chapel in the southern hemisphere was erected in Castlereagh.

      James Rutledge came to Australia with his 2 brothers, one of whom settled in Victoria and another, Forster Rutledge, became a grazier at Bungendore. James Rutledge had 4 sons and 4 daughters. The sons were Sir Arthur Rutledge, who achieved political fame in Queensland; the Rev.W.Wools Rutledge, who was largely responsible for the success of Methodist union in NSW in 1902; Dr. David Rutledge, who at the age of 18 graduated B.A. then took his M.A. and went on successfully to graduate in medicine, ultimately entering the Anglican ministry in this state; and James Rutledge, who went to Vancouver, where he was interested in oil mines. The four daughters became Mesdames P.C.Louat, Joseph Parker (wife of Dr. Parker), William Newton and John Connell. The last named remarried and became the wife of the Rev.A.E.J. Ross, Anglican minister at Granville. Having thus introduced the author of our information, let us draw upon his paper and his impressions of the lower Nepean nearly 100 years ago.

      The Lower Nepean Continued.. (From the Field Family Newsletter Edition 3)

      Nearly 100 Years Ago By Rev. F. R. Swynny

      It was a lovely morning in the month of November, 1840 when in company with Rev. Frederick Lewis, the Methodist minister at Windsor, James Rutledge for the first time drove over the ironbark ridges from Windsor. Everything was very new and grand, and pleasing so that the schoolmaster, who had recently arrived in the colony, was quite enchanted by the scene.
      A triangular plain, about 25 square miles in extent, the fields were white unto harvest, and the reapers were busy cutting down abundant crops of wheat and barley. As they drove on to the little weatherboard Methodist chapel in the centre they could see on their left on the southern extremity of the plain, stood Penrith, at the south-western angle, on a beautiful elevation, was “Regentville”, a handsome residence, the site of which was granted to Sir John Jamison in 1817. On their right there was a plateau overlooking the whole, containing the burial-ground, church, and parsonage, associated with the name of the Rev. Henry Fulton, M.A. Towards the northern extremity was the grant made to John Single, free settler, in 1823, by Governor Brisbane, on which he had erected his residence.
      Looking towards the centre he saw a gentle elevation on which there were still standing the stone chimneys and other remains of the stockade where the convicts were domiciled when employed in cutting a passage through Lapstone Hill and making a road over the Blue Mountains to the farthest west. There for many years hundreds of convicts were kept as slaves under a strong military guard, there stood the triangles, and there, almost daily, was blood drawn from the backs of incorrigibles by the unsparing lash.
      Looking around again towards the right, on the road leading from Emu to Richmond, he could see a neat weatherboard chapel, 28 feet by 16 feet, in good repair
      with a board over the door on which were inscribed the words “PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD”. This was the Wesleyan chapel, but just on the other side of the creek is a dwelling house fronting the travellers, and another building attached to it. This was the first Wesleyan church ever built in Australia. The dwelling house is that in which Mr. John Lees lived and died. Both the first chapel and that one which the travellers saw by the roadside were the gifts of Mr John Lees to the Methodist Mission and both of them pre-date any Methodist church in Australia. Mr. Rutledge and his fellow traveller observed furrows in the paddock in which the chapel stood. Mr Lees had dedicated everything he grew and harvested to the missionary’s table in Sydney free of charge. The story is recorded in the report of the Wesleyan Missionary Society for 1820. When Mr. Lees died his mantle seems to have fallen on his youngest daughter, Mrs. Forman, who in 1840, was living in the house next to the chapel where she helped and fed travellers. Dinner over, a service was held in the church which was crowded with attentive hearers. To this congregation James Rutledge was introduced by Rev Frederick Lewis as the one whom he had promised them for teaching the young to read and for guiding the old in the way to heaven.

      The little church stirred many memories in the mind of James Rutledge as he wrote in 1860 of his advent there 20 years before. In it the Rev. Samuel Leigh, first Methodist minister in Australia had prayed that “the little one might become a thousand, and the small one a strong nation.” There Leigh’s first colleague, the Rev. Walter Lawry, and the next to arrive, the Rev. Benjamin Carvosso, had from time to time “cast their bread upon the waters”.
      The first tea meeting ever held in NSW was held at Castlereagh on January 6th 1841. The chapel had become too small, and it was found necessary to build a brick chapel on a stone foundation. The people were not wealthy, but the money was raised by holding twenty-two tea meetings. Mr. John Lees and his friend Mr. Stockfish were the early stalwarts of the chapel.
      On the road from Penrith to Richmond, a few miles out from the former town, the church built by the proceeds of these numerous tea meetings is still in use, and is one of the oldest Methodist church in continuous use in the state.........................


      From Field family newsletter 8

      Extracts from the life story of James Rutledge, written at the request of Emily M. M. Henry wife of Dr. A. Henry, Sandringham NSW., his granddaughter.
      Genealogy: Elizabeth Mitchell m Edward Field
      son Edward m Maria Strickland nee Collits
      daughter Lucy Ann m James Rutledge
      daughter Maria Rutledge m William Newton
      daughter Emily Newton m Dr. Arthur Henry.

      Issued 31st May, 1927.
      ..... Now being in the 80th year of my age, I have been requested by several of my children and grand children to account of some of the instances and experiences that have occurred to me during my passage of life....

      I came of a decent Methodist family in Ireland, descendants of those Puritans who accompanied Oliver Cromwell when that great and good man came over to suppress the rebellions and stop the persecutions of the Protestants in that distracted country......

      With Father’s death a certain income he had died and was lost to the family. Even then there were indications of the failure of crops which culminated in the famine which cost Ireland a million and a half a few years later. This we foresaw and I, with a brother and sister, left the Green Island for Australia on June 8th 1840.

      On my way hither it was my privilege to conduct several services with the emigrants that accompanied us in a large building then used as a stable but it was the first building in which Wesley preached at Plymouth. After we all embarked for Australia at this port, I was requested to continue holding services on board whenever the weather and the circumstances permitted, which I did during the voyage which occupied 103 days.......

      My sister and brother soon got situations and in the order of Providence I got an offer of the Teachership at Castlereagh on the duties of which I entered in December 1840.

      The school was kept in the building erected for a church on an acre of land given by John Lees senr. 22 years before. This land Mr Lees year had sewn with wheat which he reaped had the
      produce ground and sent to the Wesleyan Missionaries to supply their tables. In those early days there were good congregations there, but with his death it dwindled nearly away. This structure was built in succession to a smaller one, the first in the colony , near his own house. That acre of land is peculiarly interesting to me. There my brother Thomas was buried and my sister Margaret, Mrs Wright, who accompanied me to this colony, a portion of the land having been set aside as a burial ground.

      My introduction to the little congregation there by Rev. F. Lewis I can never forget. I had not decided on accepting the appointment when I first visited the place. Mr. Lewis preached on that occasion and in his prayer he said, “Lord if thou wilt not come with him (alluding to me) let him not come.” Well, I did come and I believe God was with me.............

      I now come to another important phase in my life, my marriage. There was in my Society class a young lady, the sister of the lady of the house where I lodged ( believe to be Mrs. Stanton from the other writings) at this time. Her very excellent qualities commanded my admiration. I said her sister Lucy Ann Field, if of the same disposition, is just the one I should choose for a wife. I had now known her for about a year and a half. I proposed to her and, with her father’s consent (Edward Field) got married on June 29th, 1842. The Rev. Mr. Lewis was the celebrant. The ceremony was not of the mere formal kind. It was a religious service with hymns, exhortation and prayer. The hymn “Thou God of Truth Alone” impressed me deeply, and so also did an expression in his address to us, “Never let either of you say anything to the other that you know would annoy or hurt the other”, a caution I was ever mindful of during our wedded life. During the whole of the 54 years we lived together we loved each other but once and that was during the whole time, like a river it increased in volume as time went along. Of course there were times when one differences of opinion arose, but that was no quarrel. Love was always there and settled matters.

      The school (at Castlereagh) I gave up and took a farm in connection with my brother after I had
      been four years teaching, but from this retired after twelve months and went into business as a
      storekeeper in a small way... After continuing at this business we removed to Parramatta to which I was recommended by Rev. W. M. Boyce. Here I held the appointment as teacher of the Wesleyan School until the discovery of gold in the colony in 1851. Here my third and fourth children Susanna Wesley and William Wools were born. The two eldest Arthur and Maria Jane, having been born while we lived at Castlereagh.....

      I left to take charge of the public school in Drayton, Queensland. Unfortunately it was then a rule, which is still in force, that no teacher in the public service is allowed to take any part in giving religious instruction publicly.........

      In August 1851 when the gold discovery had so unsettled the minds of the people that it was thought ordinary industry would cast to the winds and that those who depended would be left high and dry, yet those were the parties that derived most benefit from the auriferous discovery.

      It was whilst at Drayton on the Darling Downs in Queensland, two of our children David Dunlop and James Josiah were born.

      Nothing of importance occurred, except the visit at this time of the Governor, Sir Charles Fitzroy, when Arthur, although only 12 years of age, read an address of welcome to His Excellency in such a manly pleasing tone that some of the gentlemen that accompanied the Governor said, “That boy will be a lawyer yet” - a prediction that that has been amply fulfilled.

      Although prevented from meddling in politics, I could not refrain from venting a little on the forbidden ground. I put myself in communication with the Surveyor General’s Department and got the township of Toowoomba laid out in allotments for sale, much against the will of the surveyors on the spot.

      .......I then got removal to Clarencetown on the William River........... After four years took the Wesleyan School at Surry Hills that became vacant the very day I left Clarencetown.

      Surry Hills was now the scene of my labours for many years. Here I had charge of a class which met at Rushcutter’s Bay, and here I re-engaged in the work of Tract distribution, confining my attentions chiefly to the military then stationed at Victoria barracks, where I met with some success until a new commanding officer Col. Hamilton prohibited me from entering on the ground, that Wesleyans were not recognized in the Army...

      For several years both myself and my wife Lucy Ann laboured hard at the work distributing tracts and visiting the slums and back lanes of the city.... The Salvation Army take credit to themselves that it was they alone that went down to the slums and gutters to save them that were list. But all those years were organizations for rescue work and visitation of the poor and sick but it was not done with the flourish of bands of music, banners and scarlet and blue uniforms, assuming titles and positions due only to officers in Her Majesty’s Service. We laboured unostentatiously, caring to be known and praised by God alone.... I admit we made a mistake by moving along so obscurely. We should have made a greater show , and been more importunate for money to enable us to carry on our work more efficiently.

      In 1864 I resigned the Surry Hills School and took charge of the York Street Wesleyan School but did not change my residence.... 1872 we moved to Newcastle to take charge of the Editorship of the Newcastle Chronicle, and left forever the scholastic profession after having been for over 30 years connected with it.

      Having been doing work for the press as a reporter and writer of articles for several years previously, these literary duties were much more congenial to my feelings than teaching. For years with the assistance of my sons I edited the Australian Almanac for the Sheriff and Downing and also the New South Wales Government Gazetteer from very scanty material. I regret to say it contained many errors, but the wonder was that they were so few, considering the disadvantages under which we laboured. The ability shown by my son David convinced me that he had capacity for something higher than ordinary industrial pursuits. So we managed to give him a collegiate education, in which we were able assisted by my son Arthur who had by this time entered the Wesleyan Ministry, 13 years later he left the ministry and found a more congenial sphere of action at the Bar, to which he was admitted the following year and held the position of Attorney General of Queensland for nearly five years. That his heart in no way changed the love of preaching has been evidenced by continuing to exercise his gifts as a local preacher.

      During the 8 years I taught at York Street I had an active time of it. In addition to the work mentioned, I took the leading part in bringing out Australian Teachers Journal, which I edited for three years....

      About 1868 I organized a new system on insurance for teachers on the mutual principal. It is still in existence and after 28 years experience it is as vigorous as ever..

      Next move to Parkes, as editor of the Parkes Gazette.. thence to Orange to take the editorial management of the Western Examiner.

      Having returned to Sydney I was employed as reporter and leader writer for the Daily Telegraph until I left with my wife and daughter on an extended visit to my eldest and most dearly beloved son Arthur in Queensland.
      Up to the death of my dear wife which occurred on 29th August 1896, having been married exactly 54 years and 2 months. She always had a strong desire to live to see her Golden Wedding day. In fact we were both gratified and so were the rest of the family who assembled for the celebration at Waverley in David’s house with much congratulations and rejoicings. The gifts were numerous and in some instances costly. For our part we were overpowered with thankfulness. We could not refrain from crying out Bless the Lord O My Soul for all His mercies and such children. It was like our marriage in 1842, a time of blessing. O that all our grandchildren would cleave unto the Lord with all their heart. Then would the covenant blessing be renewed to their children unto the third and fourth generation as it was with their fathers who have found the Lord ever Faithful to His promise.
    Person ID I809  The Rawsthorne Family Tree
    Last Modified 14 Nov 2015 

    Father David RUTLEDGE 
    Relationship Natural 
    Mother Jane SHANNON 
    Relationship Natural 
    Family ID F673  Group Sheet

    Family Lucy Ann FIELD,   b. 23 Dec 1826, Evan, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Aug 1896, Glebe Point, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years) 
    Married 29 Jun 1842  Castlereagh, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    • Marriage reference is wierd - there is no year shown, just a reference number.
     1. Arthur RUTLEDGE,   b. 29 Aug 1843, Castlereagh, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 08 Feb 1917, Manly, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years)
     2. Maria Jane RUTLEDGE,   b. 08 Jul 1845, Nepean River, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Jul 1922, Wellington, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years)
     3. Susannah Wesley RUTLEDGE,   b. 25 Sep 1847, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1936, Wollahra, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years)
     4. William Woolls RUTLEDGE,   b. 31 Oct 1849, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 May 1921, Lindfield, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)
     5. David Dunlop RUTLEDGE,   b. 24 Feb 1852, Drayton, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Sep 1905, Sutton Forest, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years)
     6. James Josiah RUTLEDGE,   b. 02 Aug 1854, Drayton, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 08 Mar 1946, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 91 years)
     7. Lucy Ann RUTLEDGE,   b. 25 Sep 1858, Clarence Town, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1901  (Age 42 years)
     8. Frances Margaret RUTLEDGE,   b. 1861, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Nov 1919, Granville, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 58 years)
    Last Modified 14 Nov 2015 
    Family ID F370  Group Sheet

  • Headstones
    Plot: Old Wesleyan Section 2C Perimeter, Grave 193/4

  • Sources 
    1. [S79] From a Distant Field, Colin Field, Book: Version 3 (Self Published).

    2. [S221] New South Wales Births, Deaths & Marriages.
      Castlereagh, NSW, IH V????083 83 (See notes)